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Updates on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Faculty and Staff

June 4, 2020: Telecommuting Update

A broadcast email sent by Human Resources on May 13 stated the campus would be updated regarding telecommuting before June 5. At this time individuals who had applications approved by Human Resources can continue to telecommute until June 26. If your application needs to be amended you will need to submit a new one. The application is located on the HR Employment Forms website.

The campus continues to plan for a return to on campus operations so some individuals may be reporting to campus prior to June 26, as needed, to perform certain job functions. We will continue to update the community as the planning progresses.

Thank you for your continued work during these difficult times.

May 13, 2020: Pilot Statewide Telecommuting Program – Extended

**Please note that the Telecommuting Pilot Program and New York on Pause are two different things. The Telecommuting Program was set to expire this week and has been extended. New York on Pause is set to expire on Friday. Our region of the state has not met all the metrics to reopen. However, campus planning for staff returning to work when the metrics are met is already taking place.**

In mid-March, the State announced a new Telecommuting Pilot Program designed to help limit the spread of COVID-19. This temporary program was created through agreements with CSEA, PEF and UUP, and also applies to M/C employees. The program was set to expire this week but it has been extended until July 17, 2020. However, this does not mean that all employees will work from home for the entire duration of the extension. For now, Purchase College has chosen to approve telecommuting plans to the greatest extent possible through June 5.

All staff telecommuters should have already submitted a work plan and application (which is available on the HR Employment Forms website) to their supervisor. If it needs to be amended to continue to work remotely you must submit an updated application. Otherwise the telecommuting plan currently in place is approved until June 5.

Faculty need to submit an application for the Spring 2020 semester. Any faculty member who will be teaching on-line over the summer will need to submit an application for that time period.

Please complete the application to the best of your ability. Human Resources did not create this application. It was agreed upon between the State and the unions therefore not everything on the application is applicable to Purchase and every bargaining unit.

The campus will be updated regarding the telecommuting program prior to June 5.

April 23, 2020: COVID-19 Update from Human Resources – Work From Home Extended Until May 15

In accordance with the Governor’s directive, non-essential employees, including students, should continue to work remotely through May 15, 2020.

The college has been and continues to be open. As usual, essential personnel are required to report to work. In addition, personnel that have been deemed as essential services (provided letters) also need to “report” for work. You must contact your supervisor to find out if you must continue to physically come to campus or work from an alternate location. If you do have to report to campus you must practice social distancing and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others. You must also wear a face mask or a face covering.

All non-essential staff shall continue to work from home to the extent practicable until May 15. Staff and supervisors must communicate with each other to determine what work can be accomplished from off-site. Telecommuting applications should have already been completed and submitted to Human Resources. Faculty do not need to submit applications. If you have not submitted an application you must do so as soon as possible. If you have submitted one but it needs to be adjusted then you must submit an updated one. The application is available on the Human Resources website. Keep in mind employees may be asked to perform duties outside of their normal duties and obligation during this time.

Employees working at an alternate location are expected to be in contact with their supervisor daily. They are also expected to access and respond to both email and phone messages. Employees should provide their supervisor with contact information. In order to prevent security breaches supervisors must be mindful not to let employees remove sensitive information or data from the office. This is in both paper and electronic format.

Employees who are unable to work due to previously scheduled vacation or are sick (not COVID related) must charge appropriate leave accruals. Normal departmental leave request procedures apply.

Any employee who is placed on a mandatory quarantine or on a precautionary quarantine needs to communicate that information to Kathleen Farrell, Chief Human Resources Officer (kathleen.farrell@purchase.edu) and Ricardo Espinales, Associate Director of Human Resources (ricardo.espinales@purchase.edu). As a reminder, please do not send any medical documentation via email.

Suggestions for work that can be accomplished during this time

  • Review and update college webpages and sites/folders in the collaboration center, which will be the primary source of evidence for the Middle States Visiting Team.
  • Join a college committee that needs members.
  • Make sure all of your staff who are working have submitted a Telecommuting Application.
  • Performance programs and evaluations – these can be accomplished via phone calls. Although not ideal it can be accomplished. Write those secondary source evaluations you have been putting off.
  • Complete your Security Awareness Training (see communications sent previously from CTS)
  • Clean out your email boxes (in, sent, and deleted)
  • Write that procedure manual you have been meaning to.
  • Redesign forms that your department uses.
  • Middle States Committee work.
  • Update department website content and department on-line calendars as necessary to reflect cancellations (if applicable).

Human Resources staff will be available via email during normal operating hours (8:30am to 5:00pm).

For those departments/individuals that normally submit hourly timesheets, please coordinate with the Payroll Office before dropping them in the mail slot or mailing them to the department.

Thank you for all you are doing for the college during this unprecedented time.

April 16, 2020: Executive Order 202.16 – Face Covering Requirement

On Sunday, the Governor issued Executive Order 202.16, which contains the following new requirement:

For all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health Law.This requirement shall be effective Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m.

Effective at 8:00 pm tonight, staff who are working and will interact with customers and the public (this includes interacting with students), will need to wear a face covering. Masks have been made available to essential staff still reporting to campus to perform their duties. If you do not have access to a surgical type mask (not a N95 mask) you can use a homemade mask, bandana or scarf (see CDC website on how to make one).You may use a homemade face covering if you prefer and if that is more comfortable for you. If you do not have a mask or face covering, you must contact your supervisor immediately and do so before interacting with students and co-workers.

If an individual is unable to wear a face covering for a medical or health related reason, they must contact Human Resources (Kathleen x5961, kathleen.farrell@purchase.edu or Ricardo x6086, ricardo.espinales@purchase.edu) immediately.

Please note this order will be enforced and social distancing will continue to be enforced. We request that all faculty and staff comply with these health and safety requirements on campus for the benefit of the entire campus community.

April 14, 2020: COVID-19 Update from Human Resources – Work From Home Extended Until April 29

In accordance with the Governor’s directive, non-essential employees, including students, should continue to work remotely through April 29, 2020.

The college has been and continues to be open. As usual, essential personnel are required to report to work. In addition, personnel that have been deemed as essential services (provided letters) also need to “report” for work. You must contact your supervisor to find out if you must continue to physically come to campus or work from an alternate location. If you do have to report to campus you must practice social distancing and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

All non-essential staff shall continue to work from home to the extent practicable until April 29. Staff and supervisors must communicate with each other to determine what work can be accomplished from off-site. Telecommuting applications should have already been completed and submitted to Human Resources. Faculty do not need to submit applications. If you have not submitted an application you must do so as soon as possible. If you have submitted one but it needs to be adjusted then you must submit an updated one. The application is available on the Human Resources website. Keep in mind employees may be asked to perform duties outside of their normal duties and obligation during this time.

Employees working at an alternate location are expected to be in contact with their supervisor daily. They are also expected to access and respond to both email and phone messages. Employees should provide their supervisor with contact information. In order to prevent security breaches supervisors must be mindful not to let employees remove sensitive information or data from the office. This is in both paper and electronic format.

Employees who are unable to work due to previously scheduled vacation or illness must charge appropriate leave accruals. Normal departmental leave request procedures apply.

Any employee who is placed on a mandatory quarantine or on a precautionary quarantine needs to communicate that information to Kathleen Farrell, Chief Human Resources Officer (kathleen.farrell@purchase.edu) and Ricardo Espinales, Associate Director of Human Resources (ricardo.espinales@purchase.edu). As a reminder, please do not send any medical documentation via email.

Suggestions for work that can be accomplished during this time

  • Performance programs and evaluations – these can be accomplished via phone calls. Although not ideal it can be accomplished. Write those secondary source evaluations you have been putting off.
  • Complete your Security Awareness Training (see communications sent previously from CTS)
  • Clean out your email boxes (in, sent, and deleted)
  • Write that procedure manual you have been meaning to.
  • Redesign forms that your department uses.
  • Middle States Committee work.
  • Update department website content and department on-line calendars as necessary to reflect cancellations (if applicable).

Human Resources staff will be available via email during normal operating hours (8:30am to 5:00pm).

For those departments/individuals that normally submit hourly timesheets, please coordinate with the Payroll Office before dropping them in the mail slot or mailing them to the department.

Thank you for all you are doing for the college during this unprecedented time. Let’s continue to be patient with one another.

April 3, 2020: Update from Student Affairs

Hello everyone,

I wanted to update faculty and staff regarding the status of students on campus and the precautions we are taking to ensure the safety of those remaining on campus.

In compliance with the Governor’s directive, the number of people coming to campus has been greatly reduced. However, the college remains open and all Student Affairs offices (as well as other offices across the college) have staff available from remote locations to support our students and faculty. The college does have enough staff working on campus to ensure the college can continue with critical functions and processes, and University Police are also on campus.

State and Federal authorities continue to examine our residential buildings as well as other campus buildings for temporary conversion to health and emergency facilities. While we have not been called upon yet to support state or federal authorities, we can’t guarantee that student residential spaces won’t be needed for other purposes so we must be prepared to respond to their request for use of our facilities quickly.

Currently, 200 students have remained on campus. Students were required to agree to additional guidelines to remain on campus. These include:

  • Students must limit their interactions with others and always follow social distancing requirements – including remaining at least 6 feet away from others (even in shared spaces).
  • Students are expected to remain on campus, and only leave their space for academic or campus employment reasons, to go for a walk on campus by themselves, or to go to the dining hall to pick up food. The Dining Hall will remain open and offer only take-out service. Dining locations and hours are subject to change depending on need.
  • Students cannot invite outside guests to visit and off-campus students and non-students are not permitted in residence halls at any time.
  • Students from other residence halls and off-campus guests are not permitted to enter students’ residence hall.
  • No group gatherings of any size are allowed, including hanging out in lounges or common areas. Students are encouraged to connect with friends or other students via video chat, call, or text.
  • If there is a college directive to remain in their room for an extended period of time, students must comply.
  • In order to reduce the number of students in rooms, students are being reassigned to an apartment or suite by themselves. This supports the Department of Health guidelines for social distancing and helps to minimize the risk transmission of the virus.

We are trying to minimize the number of students that may be required to move, nevertheless to minimize risk while maintaining the health and safety for these 200 students, a certain number of reassignments will be necessary. We hope to have all reassignments and moves completed in the next two weeks.

To help engage and connect our students, Student Affairs offices will be continuing with activities and programs for our students over the remainder of the semester virtually. Caitlin Houlihan, Interim Director for Student Life, will continue to email out the Student Life Newsletter each Monday. If your department has a program that is being offered remotely, email her directly at caitlin.houlihan@purchase.edu and she will add it to the Student Portal and Monday, Student Life Newsletter.

The Student Affairs team, including the Office of Community Engagement, Counseling Center, Health Services, Office of Disability Resources, Learning Center, Advising Center, and Career Development are also available to help with any questions or concerns, so please feel free to reach out.

During this time of great uncertainty and disruption, on behalf of the entire Student Affairs professionals, I wish you a healthy and safe remainder of the your spring break.

Take care.

–Patricia Bice, Ed.D.
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

March 29, 2020: COVID-19 Update from Human Resources – Work From Home Extended Two Weeks

As previously stated, each day continues to bring new updates on the coronavirus and its impact. Today Governor Cuomo announced that he is “directing the non-essential state workforce to continue to work from home for an additional two weeks through April 15.”

The college has been and continues to be open. As usual, essential personnel are required to report to work. In addition, personnel that have been deemed as essential services (provided letters) also need to “report” for work. You must contact your supervisor to find out if you must continue to physically come to campus or work from an alternate location. If you do have to report to campus you must practice social distancing and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

All non-essential staff shall continue to work from home to the extent practicable for the next two (2) weeks. Staff and supervisors must communicate with each other to determine what work can be accomplished from off-site. Telecommuting applications should have already been completed and submitted to Human Resources. Faculty do not need to submit applications. If you have not submitted an application you must do so as soon as possible. If you have submitted one but it needs to be adjusted then you must submit an updated one. The application is available on the Human Resources website. Keep in mind employees may be asked to perform duties outside of their normal duties and obligation during this time.

Employees working at an alternate location are expected to be in contact with their supervisor daily. They are also expected to access and respond to both email and phone messages. Employees should provide their supervisor with contact information. In order to prevent security breaches supervisors must be mindful not to let employees remove sensitive information or data from the office. This is in both paper and electronic format.

Employees who are unable to work due to previously scheduled vacation or illness must charge appropriate leave accruals. Normal departmental leave request procedures apply.

Any employee who is placed on a mandatory quarantine or on a precautionary quarantine needs to communicate that information to Kathleen Farrell, Chief Human Resources Officer (kathleen.farrell@purchase.edu) and Ricardo Espinales, Associate Director of Human Resources (ricardo.espinales@purchase.edu). As a reminder, please do not send any medical documentation via email.

Suggestions for work that can be accomplished during this time

  • Performance programs and evaluations – these can be accomplished via phone calls. Although not ideal it can be accomplished. Write those secondary source evaluations you have been putting off.
  • Complete your Security Awareness Training (see communications sent previously from CTS)
  • Clean out your email boxes (in, sent, and deleted)
  • Write that procedure manual you have been meaning to.
  • Redesign forms that your department uses.
  • Middle States Committee work.
  • Update department website content and department on-line calendars as necessary to reflect cancellations (if applicable).

Human Resources staff will be available via email during normal operating hours (8:30am to 5:00pm).

For those departments/individuals that normally submit hourly timesheets, please coordinate with the Payroll Office before dropping them in the mail slot or mailing them to the department.

Thank you for all you are doing for the college during this unprecedented time. Let us continue to be patient with one another.

March 26, 2020: Mailroom Alternate Schedule and Delivery

Starting Monday, March 30 the campus Mailroom will only be open to the campus community from 11:00am to 3:00pm, Monday through Friday. The following services will additionally be altered:

Office Mail Delivery

All offices will need to pick up and drop off mail directly at the Mailroom. It is suggested that these offices base this pick-up/drop-off on their essential personnel still reporting to campus. In the event pick-up cannot be completed by the office for a given day/week, mail will be held in a designated Mailroom location until pick-up can be performed by the office.

Office Packages

In the event packages received by the Mailroom are too heavy/numerous for an office to pick up, a delivery by Mailroom staff can be scheduled by e-mailing mailroom@purchase.edu. Please note, this will be performed on a limited schedule depending on staff availability and will require at least one day’s notice.

Please note that these changes will remain in effect until non-essential campus operations return. We appreciate your consideration and assistance with these changes.

March 21, 2020: New York State On Pause Executive Order

On Friday, the Governor signed the New York State on Pause Executive Order. This 10-point plan goes into effect tomorrow at 8:00pm. We are a state agency and not every order and directive issued by the Governor applies to us. That being said the directive previously issued to have all non-essential employees working from home does apply and should continue to be followed. This applies to all unions. The college remains open but we should have minimal staffing on campus.

If you do not know if you are essential or non-essential, contact your supervisor. Faculty are considered essential for the delivery of on-line instruction. Supervisors should be in communication with their staff regarding work plans, need to report, and other job matters. Contact information should have already been exchanged, if not it should be done soon.

Please refer to the telecommuting broadcast previously sent out by Human Resources on March 17. All information and broadcasts concerning COVID-19 can be accessed by clicking on the red banner on top of the Purchase College home page. The telecommuting application and information about the pilot program is also available on the Human Resources website. Faculty do not need to complete a telecommuting application.

Faculty and staff should continue to monitor email as that is the most effective way to communicate to everyone. If you work with or supervise someone who does not access email regularly, you should encourage them to so do or share this information with them in some other manner. If you do not normally monitor email at night and on weekends, you may need to during this time.

If you are still coming to campus, we remind you to follow the recommendations from the CDC to do all you can to keep yourself and others healthy.

Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do for Purchase College during these unprecedented times.

March 20, 2020: Direct Deposit Advices to be Mailed to Your Home Address

We have been informed today by the Office of the State Controller (OSC) that April 1, 2020 all New York State agencies will automatically be enrolled in the Direct Deposit Advice Direct Mail Program until further notice. What does that mean? It means that (OSC) will begin mailing all employee direct deposit advices directly to employees until further notice. This is in response to COVID-19 and will reduce employee interactions on payday, eliminate courier traffic at OSC and agency facilities, and help us all manage potential exposure to all state staff.

As previously announced, the State intends to begin mailing paper paychecks (real checks if you already get a real check) directly to employees the week of March 23.

What do you need to do?

  1. Look at your last direct deposit advice and verify that the address is correct. If it is correct, here is nothing else you need to do. If it is not, update your address in the SUNY system by following these steps: Log onto the SUNY Portal. Once you access the SUNY Portal, select Purchase College as your campus and then log in. You will need to login with your Purchase username and password. Under the Self Service option, select the SUNY HR Self Service icon. This will bring you to the Birth Date Validation site. Once you enter your birthdate, you can update your address.
  2. Sign up for Direct Deposit in order to avoid the risk of your branch bank not being open, and
  3. Consider signing up for New York State Payroll Online so that you they can receive your Direct Deposit Advice electronically. Employees with access to New York State Payroll Online (NYSPO) can view paycheck information online and should be encouraged to opt out of receiving a paper advice.

The college is also strongly encouraging all employees who receive paper Direct Deposit Advises to opt-out of receiving the paper advices. By opting out of receiving paper direct deposit advices it reduces the use of paper and our carbon footprint. The Direct Deposit Opt Out Form can be accessed from the college’s SharePoint Collaboration website. Once you access SharePoint, the form is located under Community Information/HR Documents.


Addendum

Another option to opt-out of paper Direct Deposit Advices is to do it while you’re in the SUNY HR site. Once you access the site, you’ll see a NYS Payroll Online icon. Click the icon and it will direct you to the OSC NYS Payroll Online site. Once you access the site:

  1. Click on the Go Paperless link;
  2. Click the Printed Pay Stubs;
  3. Click the radio button next to “I do not want a printed copy of my Direct Deposit pay stub sent to me” and then click Save.
March 20, 2020: TLTC Support for Remote Instruction Efforts

It has certainly been “interesting times” these past few weeks as we have scrambled to transition courses to remote instruction, make new tools available, and provide workshops and other support. Hopefully the early spring break will allow us to catch our collective breath and carry on to less interesting times.

To that end, I wanted to highlight some of the support resources that we have available from the TLTC.

Our Moodle Basics and Moodle Beyond Basics help guides provide responses to many of the common questions we’ve gotten from faculty over the years about how to use the different functions of Moodle.

Don’t know where to start with your Moodle course spaces? I’ve put together a Moodle Foundations Certificate ‘course’ that provides descriptions and screencasts of the typical steps that will take your empty course space and set it up so that you can manage course communications, share resources with your students, and set up basic activities. You can just browse the materials, or you can enroll in the mini-course and get feedback on your course set up through the assignment activities in the course.

Our Teaching Through Campus Closure guide describes the various tools and approaches we have available to support remote instruction, and was used as a model by a number of other SUNY campuses. We continue to update the guide as new material comes available. I plan to spend time over spring break to go through all of the discipline-focused resources that have been recommended on my listservs (performance-based classes, labs, studio, math, etc.), and add that material to the list, probably as linked page(s).

If you weren’t able to attend the workshops we’ve had this past couple of weeks, or if you would like to review a session you were at, recordings of the workshops are available on the TLTC YouTube Channel.

We will have more workshops and drop-in help sessions scheduled in the upcoming weeks. These will all be listed on the TLTC Events Page, once they are set up. You can regularly check the page for new workshops, or subscribe to the TLTC calendar feed to see our upcoming events in your calendar. Directions for how to subscribe are on our events page. If there are workshops you would like us to provide, email us.

And finally, I’m setting up a new Community Space for Faculty Teaching Remotely in our Moodle system. There will be discussion forums for the various instructional approaches and tools (Zoom, VoiceThread, online discussions, online testing, etc), along with related resources. I encourage interested faculty to join. You can ask questions there about remote instruction tools and approaches, and the answers can be shared with your colleagues, many of whom may have the same questions. (That, by the way, is modeling good practice for your online courses; set up a Class Questions forum in Moodle and direct your students to ask their questions there, so you don’t have to answer the same question multiple times through email.) In addition, these forums could also become a place where we can all share tips and observations about teaching remotely, a chance to retain a sense of faculty community as we are all working remotely.

Let us know if there are additional ways we can support you as you teach remotely for the rest of the semester. And stay safe.

–Keith Landa, Director
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center

(You can also follow the TLTC on Facebook.)

March 20, 2020: Correction to COVID-19 Protocol for Employees

Dear faculty and staff,

Please note that yesterday’s communication regarding COVID-19 cases did not properly outline the protocols for College employees. All employees should be aware of and follow the guidelines below.

Thank you for your patience.

–Patricia Bice, Ed.D.
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management


We received the following guidance from the Governor’s Office on March 19:

Effective March 16, 2020 at 12:00pm, all state agencies and authorities must abide by the following protocols for employees who report symptoms of illness associated with the COVID-19 virus. Any symptomatic employee should not report to work. As the number of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 increases, all New York State employees must monitor themselves for possible symptoms, such as:

  • fever,
  • cough,
  • shortness of breath, or
  • respiratory infection/distress.

Any employee experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 shall immediately report symptoms to their supervisor and to Human Resources (Kathleen Farrell and Ricardo Espinales). The supervisor and Human Resources (HR) will immediately direct the employee to leave work, if they are currently at work, or stay home, if they are not at work, and self-quarantine as a precaution. The supervisor shall request and record the latest contact information for the employee, including home or mobile telephone numbers, so that HR can reach them for follow up information. If the employee is experiencing severe symptoms and requires urgent medical attention, the supervisor should call 911 and notify the dispatcher that the distressed employee may have COVID-19 symptoms, so that emergency medical service responders may use appropriate precautions.

Facilities will be notified so that the area(s) the individual worked in can be cleaned and disinfected. HR will get in touch with the employee via the information provided to the supervisor in order to:

  1. inquire about current symptoms,
  2. verify that they have precautionarily quarantined, and
  3. direct the employee to call a health care provider and seek testing. The employee should first contact their primary health care practitioner to see if they are available and able to collect a sample for testing. If not, the employee should contact the New York State COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to be referred to a regional testing site that can collect and submit a sample for testing. The employee must notify HR of the test results as soon as they are received. Test results will be verified by the New York State Department of Health (DOH),
  4. inquire about their potential contact and interactions with other employees and students at the college.

Based on the information received the college will proceed in accordance with the additional guidance from the Governor’s office. Thank you for your cooperation during this difficult time.

March 19, 2020: COVID-19 Temporary Procurement and Accounts Payable Procedures

Procurement and Accounts Payable will be implementing temporary measures to assist remote staff with submission and approval of purchase requisitions and invoices. Our preference is to always receive hardcopy and signatures on these documents. Our office continues to be open during our regular hours in order to receive this hardcopy material. Still, the current challenges we are facing requires all of us to be nimble and flexible, so with that in mind the following temporary procedures will be put into place beginning Monday, March 23.

Electronic Requisitions

Procurement will accept completed requisitions with all necessary paperwork electronically. Departments should send an email with a complete requisition form attached, along with all supporting paperwork (quotes, reasonableness of price, consultant forms, etc.). This single email should be sent to Lula Curanovic, Purchasing Specialist. We will not accept multiple emails with attachments for a single requisition.

In the subject line of each email include the following information:

  • Requisition #
  • Vendor Name

Department Head Signature for Requisitions

If necessary, the Department Head’s “signature” will be accepted via a confirming email. The email sent by the requisition originator to the department head for approval must contain the information below. Also, the approval email must be included in the complete “email chain” sent to Lula with all documents.

Sample Email Sent to Department Head
  • Requisition #:
  • Vendor Name:
  • Total Amount:
  • Account #

PDF Fillable Requisition

If a department finds they no longer have access to their supply of paper requisitions or does not have the ability to scan a completed requisition, they may request a .pdf fillable requisition form from Lula Curanovic.

Lula will assign a requisition number to each individual form before sending to the department. The assigned number(s) will be logged in and tracked by our office. The department must make a request for each individual purchase. The form will not be released for blanket use by departments.

Note: This option should only be utilized sparingly, so as not to overwhelm our office.

Electronic Approval of Invoices

Accounts Payable will accept electronic approval of invoices. If the invoice cannot be signed and scanned back, A/P will accept a confirming email with the information below. A/P will not accept an email that simply says “Approved.”

Sample Email
  • I, (name & title), approve the following:
  • Vendor name
  • Invoice #
  • Date good/service was provided, not the day you are “signing” the invoice
  • Indicate if final invoice and if there is a balance to disencumber

Non-essential Orders, Requests, Travel Reimbursements, and P-Card Plot Sheets

We are also asking for departments to prioritize their orders and requests. Confirming orders will not be accepted electronically at this time, and there will be a delay in processing of travel reimbursements. Whenever possible, please use your P-card. Our department will extend the timeline for receipt of Plot sheets understanding that the current situation makes it difficult to gather and collate all the required paperwork and receipts. That said, the required paperwork will still be required when life gets back to normal, so save those receipts, quotes, and justifications!

Please know we are doing our best to continue to provide timely and efficient services, and appreciate your patience at this time.

–Procurement & Accounts Payable Team

March 19, 2020: Academic Advising Support for Faculty

Dear Faculty,

Even though this upcoming phase of advising/registration will be conducted remotely, we want to ensure that strong academic advising continues across the college in a way maintains the relational and developmental aspects of advising while also providing guidance on academic planning that is 100% accurate.

  • Advising Week is Monday, April 13 to Friday, April 17.
  • Fall 2020 registration begins on Monday, April 20.

Please visit the Advising Center’s For Faculty webpage to learn more about various options for distance advising sessions, how to contact all of your advisees at once, and how the Advising Center can support you in your effort to support students. We will also continue to update this webpage as more information becomes available regarding Course Withdrawal deadlines and PINs, etc.

The Advising Center is fully operational as we continue to work with students remotely via phone, email, and online consultation.

We will offer extended hours from 9:00am — 7:00pm between April 6 and May 1, which includes the week before Advising Week and the week after Registration Week.

Please do not hesitate to refer students to the Advising Center, or to contact us directly.

Thank you in advance for your partnership as we continue to guide students on their academic journey.

Sincerely,

Ryan Homsey
Director, Academic Resource Center

March 19, 2020: Employee Testing and Evaluation Protocols for COVID-19

We received the following guidance from the Governor’s Office today:

Effective March 16, 2020 at 12:00pm, all state agencies and authorities must abide by the following protocols for employees who report symptoms of illness associated with the COVID-19 virus. Any symptomatic employee should not report to work. As the number of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 increases, all New York State employees must monitor themselves for possible symptoms, such as:

  • fever,
  • cough,
  • shortness of breath, or
  • respiratory infection/distress.

Any employee experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 shall immediately report symptoms to their supervisor and to Human Resources (Kathleen Farrell and Ricardo Espinales). The supervisor and Human Resources (HR) will immediately direct the employee to leave work, if they are currently at work, or stay home, if they are not at work, and self-quarantine as a precaution. The supervisor shall request and record the latest contact information for the employee, including home or mobile telephone numbers, so that HR can reach them for follow up information. If the employee is experiencing severe symptoms and requires urgent medical attention, the supervisor should call 911 and notify the dispatcher that the distressed employee may have COVID-19 symptoms, so that emergency medical service responders may use appropriate precautions.

Facilities will be notified so that the area(s) the individual worked in can be cleaned and disinfected.

HR will get in touch with the employee via the information provided to the supervisor in order to:

  1. inquire about current symptoms,
  2. verify that they have precautionarily quarantined, and
  3. direct the employee to call a health care provider and seek testing. The employee should first contact their primary health care practitioner to see if they are available and able to collect a sample for testing. If not, the employee should contact the New York State COVID- 19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to be referred to a regional testing site that can collect and submit a sample for testing. The employee must notify HR of the test results as soon as they are received. Test results will be verified by the New York State Department of Health (DOH),
  4. inquire about their potential contact and interactions with other employees and students at the college.

Based on the information received the college will proceed in accordance with the additional guidance from the Governor’s office. Thank you for your cooperation during this difficult time.

March 17, 2020: Pilot Statewide Telecommuting Program

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, all non-essential state employees will work from home under a new Telecommuting Pilot Program designed to help limit the spread of COVID-19. This temporary program was created through agreements with CSEA, PEF and UUP, and also applies to M/C employees. It will remain in effect until May 14, 2020.This does not mean that all non-essential employees will work from home for the entire date range.

Essential employees are defined as those whose job function is essential to the effective operation of their agency or authority. The term also applies to employees who must be physically present to perform their job, and those who are involved in the COVID-19 emergency response.

Non-essential employees are defined as those who do not need to be physically present to perform their jobs. The term also applies to employees who are not required to meet the core function and programs of their agency during this emergency response.

At this time, non-essential employees shall work from home; to the extent they are able. Employees will not be charged their accruals to fulfill this directive. Non-essential employees must call their supervisor no later than one hour prior to their regular start time, so any change in status can be communicated. While they are home, these employees may be assigned work outside of their normal duties.

As the operational needs of the response shifts, specific job functions or work locations may be modified accordingly. The college and authorities may change an employee’s designation from either essential or non-essential at any time and will provide notice if that change is necessary.

Supervisors should notify their employees of their status (essential vs. non-essential) as soon as possible. Academic faculty are considered essential employees to provide continuity of instruction via distance learning.

All telecommuters will be required to submit a work plan and application (which is available on the HR Employment Forms website) with the exception of faculty, to their supervisor that includes hours worked and work completed. If you have already made arrangements to work from home with your supervisor you may assume that your request has been approved but please complete the application so that we have a record. Please complete the application to the best of your ability. Not everything on the application is applicable to Purchase. Employees must treat a telecommuting day as a regular workday in which the employee must maintain a regular work routine.

Upon receiving a request to work off-site, supervisors have 48 hours to review and make an initial determination on the request.

Supervisors who are reviewing the off-site proposal should inform Human Resources of the decision. Human Resources will provide final approval within 48 hours of receiving the request in their office. Completed applications should be emailed to Human Resources (HRM.telecommute.app@purchase.edu).

If the request is disapproved or if an employee wishes to contest mandated telecommuting, they may appeal to the agency head or designee (Kathleen Farrell) in writing within 24 hours of the denial. The appeal shall state the reasons for disagreement with management’s determination and a decision on that appeal shall be provided within seven (7) calendar days. If the appeal is denied, the reasons for the denial must be provided.

Any denials of request for telecommuting are not grievable under any collective bargaining agreements. Anyone who has questions about the new program or an employee’s ability to work from home should email Human Resources (HRM.telecommute.app@purchase.edu).

Please note that HR is also overwhelmed at this time so please read the policy thoroughly before reaching out and know that responses may be delayed.

Additional information will be provided as needed. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

March 16, 2020: Employee Testing and Evaluation Protocols for COVID-19

We received the following guidance from the Governor’s office today:

Effective March 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm, all state agencies and authorities must abide by the following protocols for employees who report symptoms of illness associated with the COVID-19 virus. Any symptomatic employee should not report to work. As the number of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 increases, all New York State employees must monitor themselves for possible symptoms, such as:

  • fever,
  • cough,
  • shortness of breath, or
  • respiratory infection/distress.

Any employee experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 shall immediately report symptoms to their supervisor and to Human Resources (Kathleen Farrell and Ricardo Espinales). The supervisor and Human Resources (HR) will immediately direct the employee to leave work, if they are currently at work, or stay home, if they are not at work, and self-quarantine as a precaution. The supervisor shall request and record the latest contact information for the employee, including home or mobile telephone numbers, so that HR can reach them for follow up information. If the employee is experiencing severe symptoms and requires urgent medical attention, the supervisor should call 911 and notify the dispatcher that the distressed employee may have COVID-19 symptoms, so that emergency medical service responders may use appropriate precautions.

Facilities will be notified so that the area(s) the individual worked in can be cleaned and disinfected.

HR will get in touch with the employee via the information provided to the supervisor in order to:

  1. inquire about current symptoms,
  2. verify that they have precautionarily quarantined, and
  3. direct the employee to call a health care provider and seek testing. The employee should first contact their primary health care practitioner to see if they are available and able to collect a sample for testing. If not, the employee should contact the New York State COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to be referred to a regional testing site that can collect and submit a sample for testing. The employee must notify HR of the test results as soon as they are received. Test results will be verified by the New York State Department of Health (DOH),
  4. inquire about their potential contact and interactions with other employees and students at the college.

Based on the information received the college will proceed in accordance with the additional guidance from the Governor’s office. Thank you for your cooperation during this difficult time.

March 16, 2020: Update from Human Resources

Each day continues to bring new updates on the coronavirus. This situation continues to evolve and affect all of our daily lives in a multitude of ways. Many of you may have seen or heard about Governor Cuomo’s press conference yesterday. The college remains open but we, as like many other schools and businesses, are attempting to reduce the population density and help to lessen the spread of the virus.

As usual, essential personnel are required to report to work. In addition, personnel that have been deemed as essential services (provided letters) also need to “report” for work. You must contact your supervisor to find out if you must continue to physically come to campus or work from an alternate location.

All non-essential staff shall work from home to the extent practicable for the next two (2) weeks. Staff and supervisors must communicate with each other to determine what work can be accomplished from off-site. Employees working at an alternate location are expected to access, respond to both email, and phone messages. Employees should provide their supervisor with contact information. In order to prevent security breaches supervisors must be mindful not to let employees remove sensitive information or data from the office. This is in both paper and electronic format.

Faculty will continue to meet their obligations and be prepared to deliver all instruction on-line as soon as possible, but not later than March 27, as previously communicated by Barry Pearson, Provost.

Employees who are unable to work due to previously scheduled vacation or illness must charge appropriate leave accruals. Normal departmental leave request procedures apply.

Any employee who is placed on a mandatory quarantine or on a precautionary quarantine needs to communicate that information to Kathleen Farrell, Chief Human Resources Officer (kathleen.farrell@purchase.edu) and Ricardo Espinales, Associate Director of Human Resources (ricardo.espinales@purchase.edu). As a reminder, please do not send any medical documentation via email.

Suggestions for work that can be accomplished during this time

  • Performance programs and evaluations – these can be accomplished via phone calls. Although not ideal, it can be accomplished. Write those secondary source evaluations you have been putting off.
  • Complete your Security Awareness Training (see communications sent previously from CTS).
  • Clean out your email boxes (in, sent, and deleted)
  • Write that procedure manual you have been meaning to.
  • Redesign forms that your department uses.
  • Middle States Committee work.
  • Update department website content and department on-line calendars as necessary to reflect cancellations (if applicable).

Human Resources on-site hours for the next two weeks (March 16, 2020 to March 27, 2020).

(This is subject to change as the coronavirus situation evolves.)

A representative from Human Resources will be available during the following hours

  • Monday (3/16) until 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday (3/18): 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Friday (3/20): 10:00am – 12:00 pm
  • Tuesday (3/24): 10:00am – 12:00 pm
  • Thursday (3/26): 10:00am - 12:00 pm

Human Resources staff will be available via email during normal operating hours (8:30 am to 5:00 pm).

Due to limited office hours, HR is strongly encouraging that all employees who are receiving a paycheck enroll in direct deposit. The direct deposit enrollment form can be downloaded from the SharePoint Collaboration website. If you have any questions, please contact Payroll (Robin Farrell via email) about changing your check to Direct Deposit or if you need to have your check mailed to you. We will do our best to accommodate these requests.

For those departments that still need to submit hourly timesheets, please coordinate with the Payroll Office. HR will have limited hours, but does have a mail-drop box where HR documents (ex. Timesheets, employment documents) can be left.

We are doing our best during this difficult time to protect the health and safety of the college community, fulfill the mission of the college, as well as our professional obligations. Let us be patient with one another during this challenging time.

March 15, 2020: Streaming Video Options from the Library

As the campus transitions to online-only classes, Purchase College Library has increased our streaming video offerings, thanks to the dedication of our vendor partners! Many of these opportunities are for a limited time.

Please save yourself time and effort by following the guidelines below. Additional details can be found in the Library’s news story on streaming options.

Use Discovery Search from Library Homepage

If you know the title of the film, please use the Library Discovery Search on our homepage to determine which collection holds the content. Many of the requests we have received for Kanopy, for example, are already available in Academic Video Online (AVON).

Explore our Multimedia Guide

The Multimedia Guide breaks out the best databases for audio and video and includes a tab with “more options” for faculty.

Westchester Library System (WLS) Cards

Purchase College Library partners with both the Purchase Free Library and with Harrison Public Library to offer Purchase College students, faculty, and staff access to a Westchester Library System Card. We have long suggested that courses which depend heavily on films and documentaries utilize WLS. WLS provides access to Kanopy as well as Lynda.com which has tutorials on a wide range of topics. If you or your students don’t already have a WLS card, we recommend signing up ASAP. Some library branches in Westchester have had to close, which might affect the ability to get cards from Purchase Free and Harrison Public.

Big Box Office Films

Swank is a vendor we have long partnered with for big box office films. Swank is currently working closely with us to determine a low-cost temporary streaming license. You can search Swank’s content catalog. If you see a title you would like to use for an assignment in your course, please email Rebecca Oling. Include date needed, assignment, CRN, and course name, and we will look into it for you.

Women Make Movies (WMM)

For faculty who were planning on showing a WMM DVD in class, WMM has worked with us and the library community to stream some of these titles for free. We cannot guarantee that the title you wanted from our DVD collection is available with this offer. Please email Rebecca Oling to request access and include WMM in the subject line.

WMM is also having a virtual film festival in March. You can share the information with your students as well. Sign up for WMM Virtual Film Festival 2020 now.

Accessibility

Please do not use videos without proper captioning. Auto-generated captioning causes a host of barriers, and faculty are responsible to check any content that is auto-generated.

What about Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Criterion Channel, etc.?

Please use care when assigning items from commercial vendors like those above.

  • If students leave the country and go home, they may not be able to access the titles because of licensing restrictions.
  • These are not free services, and our students are not expecting to incur additional costs.
  • Accessibility, captioning, etc. from these vendors is not guaranteed.
  • Trial periods are often very short. If you are determined to use films from these services, we suggest you cluster items together so that students can cancel the service, if need be.

More Opportunities Coming?

Vendors are aware of the situation and are working with libraries the best they can. If you have streaming needs, please contact Rebecca Oling with specific details of what you need and include dates, etc.

Please be patient and give us time to make arrangements for you and your students.

March 13, 2020: Update from Interim President Dennis Craig

On behalf of the Governor, Chancellor, and the campus, I want to thank everyone for their extraordinary efforts to adapt to the situation caused by the COVID-19 virus, which continues to spread. Your efforts are preparing our campus to continue to serve our students and ensure their success. I write today to announce our plans to complete the spring semester. In compliance with Governor Cuomo’s directive that the State University of New York reduce in-person interactions to lessen the risk of COVID-19 transference, I am announcing the following:

  • Between March 13 and March 27: in person instruction using social distancing (e.g. 3 - 6 feet apart, 10 or fewer people present, etc.) will continue but shift to distance as quickly as possible;
  • Spring Break will be moved up, and occur March 30 - April 5;
  • April 6 classes resume;
  • Starting April 6 no in person instruction will occur for the remainder of the semester;
  • Resources for distance delivery of courses and services will be identified and provided;
  • All study abroad is canceled for spring and summer until further notice;
  • College funded international travel is canceled as of March 13 until further notice;
  • Public events will be canceled or postponed as of March 13 until further notice;
  • Alternatives to an in-person commencement will be announced;
  • Visitor Policies will be revised;
  • Any revisions to housing credits and/or refunds will be announced before spring break;
  • Residence facilities and services are open; and, finally,
  • Dining operations that adhere to health department guidelines will continue to be provided.

These measures will remain in place until further notice. The campus will remain open and, while all courses will be delivered via distance instruction as of April 6, operations on the campus will be ongoing. Students, faculty, and staff should stay current with COVID-19 developments and travel advice found at the CDC travel site. The safety and well-being of our community remains our top priority.

We thank you again for your cooperation in these difficult times. We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves. Please monitor your campus email as this situation is fluid and guidance are subject to change.

–Dennis Craig
Interim President

March 13, 2020: TLTC Workshop Recordings

Thank you to all the faculty who attended our recent workshops in the TLTC and contributed to the conversations. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, or if you did and would like to review, recordings of the workshops are available on the TLTC YouTube channel:

Let us know if you have any questions about instructional strategies for supporting our students remotely (TLTC@purchase.edu).

–Keith Landa, Director
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center

March 13, 2020: e-Resources for Instruction from the Library

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As the campus transitions to an online/hybrid instruction model, the Library offers many ways to integrate e-resources into your classes. In fact, beyond our physical collections, the majority of the Library’s resources are online. Please be sure to access all Library resources directly from the Library’s website (as opposed to Googling the name of a database or ebook, for example).

When using the Library’s electronic resources from off-campus via the Library’s website, you and your students will be asked to log in with your Purchase College credentials. See our FAQ on accessing library databases from off-campus.

Resources

Subject Guides

Please review the Library’s resources most relevant to your discipline/board of study at our Research by Subject Guides and Help Guides.

Linking to Databases

Please link directly to content within the Library’s subscription databases and online journals, rather than downloading a PDF of an article and uploading it to Moodle (make sure to follow TLTC instructions for ensuring such links work off campus). This is a best practice for a number of reasons:

  • Increases accessibility: Many databases offer alternative formats such as text-to-speech options and provide stable, searchable, accessible PDFs as well as full-text
  • Ensures compliance with copyright law and end-user agreements.
  • Builds research and information literacy skills by familiarizing students with various databases and interfaces.
  • Allows students to take advantage of value-added features such as citation generators, exporting to citation managers, and alternative file formats.
  • Increases database usage and justifies the cost of subscription content.

For more help with linking to Library resources within Moodle, please see the TLTC’s Linking & Library Resources page for directions on how to use Moodle’s URL resource to link to external content.

Ebooks

In lieu of requiring students to consult physical books on Reserve or in the Library’s main collection, the Library can look into acquiring ebook versions or ebook alternatives. Please be aware that ebook editions may not be available for all texts and may take time to acquire. You can learn more about the Library’s ebook resources on our ebooks guide. Please contact your subject liaison as soon as possible regarding your ebook needs.

Streaming video

Please take advantage of the Library’s streaming video resources. To inquire about streaming titles not yet in our collection and/or additional streaming resources, please contact your subject liaison. When requesting streaming titles, the Library asks that all instructors please be patient and flexible as streaming licenses can take time to acquire, and the Library may not be able to license a streaming version of all film titles. As streaming films can be extremely costly, when requesting specific streaming titles from the Library, please include how the film fulfills learning outcomes for your course and when possible, include a copy of any assignments that correspond with the film.

Scanning

To provide access to materials that cannot be found online, the Library has book scanners you can use to digitize print course materials, with digital accessibility and copyright implications in mind. Please keep scans to a minimum and only elect to scan content when an electronic version cannot be found via any other means (librarians can help you with this!).When creating scans, please consult the Scanning Best Practices guide to ensure items are accessible before posting them to your Moodle spaces.

Instruction

You don’t have to cancel your planned library sessions! Instruction librarians can adapt in-person research sessions to an online environment in several ways.

  • Librarians can use Zoom to conduct a research session synchronously (at a scheduled date and time where the class watches together) or asynchronously (librarians can record a video to share on your course’s Moodle page that students can view anytime). You do not need to request a Zoom Pro license from CTS to have a librarian conduct a Zoom session for your class.
  • Librarians can use a variety of Moodle resources such as discussion forums and assignments to instruct students on research resources and strategies.
  • Librarians can create customized research guides for individual classes.
  • Please be in contact with your subject liaison regarding your instruction needs.

Virtual Reference

Please remind your students about the Library’s virtual reference and research services, which faculty and staff are welcome to use as well:

  • Chat 24/7: Students can chat with a librarian in real time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re increasing the hours that Purchase College librarians will staff the chat service, which is also monitored 24 hours a day by back-up librarians from a nationwide cooperative.
  • Text a Librarian at (914) 873-1711. The text service is staffed by local library staff when we are open. See text hours.
  • Email the Library at ask@purchase.libanswers.com. Librarians will respond as soon as possible (within 24 hours).
March 12, 2020: Travel Declaration

SUNY Purchase College is committed to the health and safety of all members of the campus community. We have been following guidance on the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) from the CDC, New York State and SUNY leadership, and consulting sources such as the World Health Organization.

In furtherance of our commitment, we are taking a proactive measure to most effectively and efficiently be able to communicate essential information to our constituents who:

  • May have personally traveled internationally since February 15,
  • Are planning to travel internationally in the next couple of months,
  • Reside with a person who has recently returned or is planning to travel, or
  • Are required to care for a family member or other person(s) who may have traveled internationally since Feb. 15 or is planning to do so.

Please help us by completing a survey that outlines upcoming international travel as well as where you traveled internationally since Feb. 15. The form can be accessed via the Purchase College Survey website. To access the survey, login with the following ID number: 86M2387M

This survey should also be completed if you live with, or for any upcoming travel, please be sure to read the Travel FAQ issued by the CDC. Please only complete this survey if you fall into one of the categories detailed above.

The information obtained will only be accessible by Human Resources and shared if absolutely necessary in order to communicate to you or to update the SUNY Purchase College Emergency Response Team as any new recommendations come from the CDC. In limited circumstances, the information may be shared with the local Department of Health or SUNY in the administration of SUNY Purchase College operations or as required by law.

March 11, 2020: SUNY COVID-19 Guidance

Dear Colleagues:

To clarify the Governor’s information from his press conference, SUNY has sent us the following:

Your plan for continuing the academic semester should include actions to reduce COVID-19 exposure by:

  • Using Distance Learning: Plan to move classes online wherever possible and supplement with alternative modes of instructional delivery where more practical (e.g. video, teleconferencing, delivery of written materials by mail and email).
  • Anticipating that students may be on or off campus when utilizing distance learning, and hence alternative instructional modes should be designed accordingly. Please take into account that some students may have limited high speed internet and technological access.
  • Splitting necessary lab sections to reduce class size.
  • Staggering meal times.
  • Limiting large gatherings. Please consult with your local health department if you have questions or concerns about holding events with more than 50 participants.
  • Keeping facilities and services open and available to students during and after spring break, unless the Governor directs otherwise. We are mindful that some of our students may have no other housing or dining options and will require these resources.
  • Ensuring that enhanced cleaning protocols are in place to disinfect the COVID-19.
  • Preparing a checklist for addressing and supporting how immunocompromised students will be supported, whether on campus or off.
  • Devising a campus visitation protocol.
  • Developing a plan for continuity of research including keeping social distancing and other best practices in research laboratories and facilities.
  • Preparing a plan in the event that COVID-19 cases occur on campus. Schools are expected to close for 24 hours and work with local health department authorities to respond.

Students, faculty, and staff should stay current with COVID-19 developments and travel advice found at the CDC travel site. Community members should exercise caution, practice good hygiene (specifically cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it in the trash), and in the event they become ill either while on campus or while traveling, consider advice from governmental and health officials about staying home (staying separate from other people and animals as much as possible) until healthy. Individuals whose symptoms worsen (e.g., difficulty breathing) should seek prompt medical care. Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and explain that you may be have been exposed to COVID-19. Of course, if you have a medical emergency, call 911, and notify the dispatch personnel of the same.

These guidelines are consistent with efforts currently underway. We will work to continue to adjust our efforts to deliver education to our students and complete the semester successfully. Our campus remains open.

Thank you.

–Barry Pearson, MFA
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 11, 2020: Update from Human Resources

Human Resources, Campus Administration, and the Emergency Management Team remain committed to the health and safety of the campus community and continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate that this matter is unsettling but please know that we are all working to get through this as best we can. This situation remains fluid and things are changing rapidly. We will continue to monitor this situation and work with SUNY and other appropriate Federal and State agencies regarding COVID-19. It is important to know that we do not yet have a diagnosed or suspected COVID-19 case on our campus.

As you are aware from the broadcast sent by the President’s office, today is day one of a three-day (3/11 – 3/13) trial period designed to explore alternatives to face-to-face interactions. The college remains open. As stated in the email at the end of this three-day period, the single most important outcome will be that we are prepared to care for our community and enable the delivery of education with as little face-to-face interaction as possible. At the end of the three days, plans for the rest of the semester will be communicated based on the input collected.

As you are probably aware, several colleges and school districts in the local area have cancelled classes or closed over the past few days. There is now a “containment zone” in New Rochelle.

During this three day period, faculty and staff still have a professional obligation. Faculty or staff who do not come to work will need to use the appropriate accruals as usual. Any work from an alternate location needs to be in accordance with our usual process and approved in advance by the supervisor. Employees assigned to work in an alternate location are required to fulfill their normal work hours and professional obligation and must be reachable during their normal work schedule. Employees working at an alternate location are expected to access and respond to both email and phone messages. Employees should provide their supervisor with contact information. In order to prevent security breaches supervisors must be mindful not to let employees remove sensitive information or data from the office. This is in both paper and electronic format.

We should all continue to follow the preventative measures recommended by the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. If a tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched obkects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

We should also be mindful of travel (business and personal) and read the travel recommendations issued by the CDC. This includes travel via cruise ship. As of 3/5/2020, the State of New York has prohibited all New York State work-related employee travel to these countries until further notice.

  • China
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • South Korea
  • Japan

We also request that you adhere to the suggested practice of a 14 day self-quarantine if you have traveled to one of the affected counties or have been, or will be (if known), in contact with someone who has. In such instances we ask that you contact your supervisor or Human Resources to see what work arrangements can be made.

We will continue to provide updates to the campus community.

March 10, 2020: Access to Online Content and Assessments for Students with Accommodations

Dear Faculty,

As the college begins to shift to classes online through Moodle or via remote services, we urge you to consider potential barriers for students with disabilities who work with the Office of Disability Resources (ODR). Many of your students may also have chronic issues or even temporary ones for which they may not have self-identified. Our collective goal at Purchase College is to ensure continuity and the success of all of our students.

Online Exams/Quizzes

How does extended time for exams or quizzes work in an online format?

In the event that exams or quizzes are administered online via Moodle, faculty are responsible for logging in to Accommodate and reviewing their class roster(s) to determine who has extended time for exams/quizzes in order to adjust the administration time accordingly within Moodle. The “Test Accommodation Process” section of the ODR’s website contains a guide on how to do this. Once this information has been confirmed via Accommodate, faculty will then need to configure the Moodle accounts of students who are approved by the ODR to receive exam accommodations so that they can receive extended time on their tests and quizzes.

Accessibility Concerns

If your exam/quiz utilizes images, charts or graphs remember do not skip over the Description field (or Image Description) in Moodle. If you skip this, a student who uses a screen reader has no idea what they are clicking on or looking at.

How do I make my online class accessible?

  • Consistency of design and provision of files (don’t bury them in course announcements)
  • Use the URL resource in Moodle for links:
    • Don’t spell out the whole URL, keep design simple and consistent, etc.
  • The Library has many journals, magazines, and newspaper articles:
  • Check out the Library’s Ebook Guide.
  • Some captioned streaming materials exist through the Library’s Collections:
    • See the Library’s Multimedia Guide.
    • Requests for streaming films not already in our collection should go to Rebecca.Oling@purchase.edu. Such requests take time. Be open to alternative content.
    • Avoid any youtube videos that are not properly captioned. If you use it, you must preview it completely to ensure the accuracy of captioning.
    • Major outlets like national TedTalks are well captioned.

Requesting an Accommodation

This process has not changed. Please have students contact ODR directly to request accommodations.

Communication with Students

  • We plan to send a reminder to students to contact our office directly to discuss additional accommodations further if they are experiencing barriers in their online courses.
  • Students with approved testing accommodations will be sent an e-mail explaining that they will still receive their testing accommodations for online exams and quizzes via Moodle. If students utilize text-to-speech as an accommodation for exams and quizzes, they will be directed to use Read Aloud Extension for Google Chrome on their personal device.
  • The Testing Center will continue to proctor in person exams, as usual. If students have already scheduled an appointment to take an exam in the Testing Center this week and the exam has now moved online, please notify the student and Testing Center (testing@purchase.edu).

Please contact the Office of Disability Resources or Rebecca Oling, Interim Director of Digital Accessibility, if you have questions or require assistance with making your online content accessible.

Sincerely,

Lauren Rodriguez, Psy.D.
Director, Office of Disability Resources

March 9, 2020: Update on Classes and Meetings

I have been in discussions with our cross-functional emergency response team, as well as the Chancellor regarding our preparation related to the COVID-19 virus.

First, an important note: we do not yet have a diagnosed or suspected COVID-19 case on our campus. After careful consideration, what follows is a plan to use Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, March 11-13 as a trial period to prepare for possible curtailment of campus face-to-face meetings. The campus and all offices will remain operational during the three days.

What does this mean?

All classes will continue. However, in order to eliminate or lessen in person interactions, we are taking the significant step of suspending face-to-face instruction March 11-13, where possible. As an alternative, classes may occur online through a remote service, such as conference calling or Zoom. Faculty should reach out to students with their plans for individual classes.

In addition, we ask all community members to consider canceling or redesigning all scheduled events and meetings in order to eliminate or severely reduce face-to-face interaction.

During the three-day period, if face-to-face interactions must occur, or in the case where college operations require meetings, they should be first attempted through the use of conference calls or online platforms, such as Zoom.

This three-day period is a trial period designed to explore alternatives to face-to-face interactions. Specifically:

  • Faculty and staff will use the three days to transfer course content and learning experiences where possible to online and begin teaching in that format—assistance will be provided by TLTC, led by Keith Landa.
  • Realizing that not all courses can be delivered online, in cases where face-to-face contact is absolutely necessary, faculty will redesign courses to limit potential exposure (e.g. keeping groups small, shortened periods of time, altered face-to-face interactions for performances, exhibits, etc.)
  • All face-to-face meetings during these three days should be kept to small groups (10 or fewer) and facilitate social distances of three to six feet that decrease the possibility of transmittal of the virus.
  • Residence hall staff, dining services, and other student support offices will develop procedures that ensure continued delivery of services while protecting students and staff from potential COVID-19 exposure.
  • All staff members must coordinate with their supervisors to schedule a time to work remotely. No one will be working remotely for all three days.

At the end of this three-day period, the single most important outcome will be that we are prepared to care for our community and enable the delivery of education with as little face-to-face interaction as possible.

During the trial period by Friday at 6:00pm, we will communicate plans for the rest of the semester based on the input collected.

Please be in touch with supervisors and colleagues so we can share our challenges.

–Dennis Craig
Interim President

March 7, 2020: Alternative Instruction

Dear Faculty and Staff:

We recognize that the advance of COVID-19 is such that face-to-face delivery of course material may become complicated and, in some cases, impossible. To complete the current semester within New York State, SUNY, and MSCHE guidelines, alternative deliveries of course material that will allow students to meet expected student learning outcomes may become necessary. As an example of the how campuses are already adjusting, SUNY Brockport may move to all online in about a week. Please begin working with colleagues, chairs, and deans to reimagine your course delivery in such a manner.

To assist in this transition, please consider the following options. Delivery of course lectures and discussions via Zoom during the scheduled class time. (CTS recently increased the number of Zoom licenses in anticipation of increased demand.) Recording lectures can also enable delivery of course materials as well. For delivery of tests and exams, please consider Moodle, however, we will soon identify a secure means of administering tests and exams online. For courses requiring exhibits or performances, please discuss alternatives to face to face delivery.

For further assistance, please contact Keith Landa, Director of the TLTC. In fact, Keith will be demonstrating Zoom for instructional purposes on Wednesday for the School of Humanities. Please schedule a time with Keith or log in and join the presentation on Wednesday. Thank you for your support of our students during this stressful time. If I can be of assistance in enabling your ideas as you collaborate, please let me know. More information on alternative deliveries can be found on the TLTC website.

Thank you.

–Barry Pearson, MFA
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 6, 2020: Employee Assistance Program

The recent announcement confirming the cases of coronavirus in New York has, understandably, led to a growing concern among all New Yorkers including state employees and their families. NYS EAP understands that employees may experience increased stress during this time. Please know that as your EAP Coordinator I am here to help you with resources that can help you cope with the emotional impact of the coronavirus.

Resources that can give you accurate, reliable and up-to date general information:

Resources on coping with the emotional impact of the coronavirus:

I am here to help you with the resources you may need. If you prefer to speak with an EAP coordinator at a different facility, you can also call (800) 822-0244, for a referral to another EAP coordinator.

If you have any questions, my office is located in HUM 1002. You may also contact me at (914) 251-6098.

–Odile Delgado, Employee Assistance Coordinator

March 5, 2020: Regarding Travel

The campus leadership and Emergency Management Team are actively monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and are planning precautionary measures to protect the campus community as well as provide updates to the campus as needed.

We still do not have any reported cases of the virus on campus. The health risk to our campus community remains low. At this time, all on-campus classes, events, and day-to-day operations will go on as usual.

Please be advised that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to countries with Level 3 Health Notices, and cautions against high-risk travelers from traveling to countries with Level 2 Health Notices (listed below).

As of today (3/5/2020), in accordance with this recommendation from the CDC, the State of New York has prohibited all New York State work-related employee travel to these countries until further notice:

  • China
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • South Korea
  • Japan

Keeping the community safe requires all of us to be vigilant and informed. We request that the campus community remain aware of the CDC travel advisories and information related to travel for any upcoming trips (including personal) especially to CDC Level 2 & 3 countries.

We also request that you adhere to the suggested practice of a 14 day self-quarantine if you have traveled to one of the affected counties or have been, or will be (if known), in contact with someone who has. In such instances we ask that you contact your supervisor or Human Resources to see what work arrangements can be made.

We should all continue to follow the preventative measures recommended by the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. If a tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into your elbow.

–Office of the President

March 5, 2020: Teaching During Campus Closure

With all of the focus on the current spread of COVID-19 (and the fact that we could still get a blizzard this spring), the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center has set up a guide and series of workshops dealing with how to ensure the continuity of your face to face classes by taking specific instructional activities online. See the “Teaching During Campus Closure Guide & Workshop Series” story on our TLTC website for more details. Or go directly to:

You can see all of our upcoming workshops, webinars, and conference listings on the TLTC Events page.

While there, check out the directions at the bottom of the page for how to add the TLTC Events Calendar to your calendar application (iCal on MacOS, or Outlook on Windows). That way you can get live updates on upcoming workshops in your calendar, with convenient links to the event pages.

–Keith Landa
Director, Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center

March 4, 2020: Update from Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Barry Pearson

Dear Colleagues:

First, thank you for the support of our students as they continue to tackle their ongoing academic endeavors while also dealing with the stress brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Like so many other campuses, our management of the COVID-19 threat is one that demands we adjust daily to information and circumstances that are constantly evolving. For now, though, please remember that our area, and our campus especially, is currently rated as “low risk” for contracting the virus.

Specifically, my purpose in writing today is to:

  • Describe our approach while dealing with the COVID-19 danger in meeting the educational needs of our students
  • Provide an overview of practices and policies that should serve to guide us as we continue to move forward throughout the semester; and, finally,
  • Request your continued support and involvement in our efforts to communicate to the community accurate information.

In meeting the needs of our students, I want to encourage you to continue to do what so many of you are already doing: be on the watch for students who may be feeling ill, express concern for their well being, and suggest to them options for safeguarding their health. You see our students daily. As you so often do, please continue to refer them to Health Services if you observe they are showing flu-like symptoms and, by all means, alert us if they aren’t attending classes.

In terms of attendance, we are not under any mandated restrictions from the Chancellor or the Governor to limit or restrict class meetings or public gatherings. You should consider your attendance policies to be applicable. Of course, you are in the best position to make adjustments with individual students if the need arises. Likewise, if you should feel ill, please work to adjust your class schedules and the delivery of materials. Keith Landa has provided a range of alternative delivery options.

It is absolutely understandable, however, that our thoughts turn to the possibility that someone not feeling well may have contracted COVID-19. While I encourage you to be on the watch for the health of students, and monitor your own well-being as well, please understand that only the Department of Health tests for and determines COVID-19 infection. Until a determination is made that a person has contracted the virus (in which case there are very clear steps for us to follow), for anyone with symptoms resembling the virus, we should continue to encourage them to safeguard their health, and the health of others, by seeking assistance from Health Services.

It is also important that we continue to pay close attention to our own daily hygienic practice. Regarding prevention guidelines, visit New York State’s website for resources that we have found helpful.

Lastly, this will not be the last update on the virus. Please be on the watch for communication from campus offices (e.g. UPD, Health Services, HR, etc.). If I can answer specific questions, however, please feel free to reach out to my office directly at x6020. I know there is a lot of information to sort through and there will be even more as the situation changes. But I also know that as faculty you are mindful of the need for accurate information. Thank you for your continued efforts on this front.

Please, let me know what other information may be helpful.

–Barry Pearson, MFA
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs